Groundhog Day has come and gone, and regardless of what those weather-predicting marmots say, spring is inevitably on its way. Now’s the time to review your spring maintenance activities, and make sure you are prepared for the summer and autumn months ahead. Read on to see our checklist as well as an inventory of the tools you need to keep your repairs and maintenance running like a well-oiled machine!
Here’s a checklist of 10 key activities to have in place for your springtime maintenance program:
1. Test Alarms & Fire Extinguishers
Fire alarms and extinguishers are not “set it and forget it” types of equipment. Regular inspection and maintenance to ensure these systems are functioning properly is a must! Keep in mind that smoke detectors have an average lifespan of about 10 years and carbon monoxide detectors average a lifespan of seven years. Springtime is the perfect time to replace batteries and test all equipment.
2. Do a Furnace/HVAC Check
Like alarms, furnaces (and boilers) should be inspected annually. Before tenants start turning on the AC, replace central filters and ensure that everything is in good working order. Call the HVAC professional to ensure that ducts are clean. In terms of any other rental property maintenance, if your properties have fireplaces, see that the chimney and flue are clean and free of creosote, so you are ready for next fall and won’t have to call when furnace professionals are at their busiest.
3. Inspect the Roof and Gutters
Your roof takes the brunt of the winter snow and subsequent melt. Spring storms bring an influx of rain and debris through a home’s gutters. So, confirm that gutters are free of blockages and water flows away from your building’s foundation. Roofs and gutters should be checked every spring and fall. If an issue is found, schedule repairs with your preferred roofing professional.
4. Look for Signs of Pests
Bugs, rodents and other critters usually take cover in the walls during the winter and start to appear when the temperature rises. Now is the time to rid of them, so hire a professional pest control service to treat the unit or building if you see any signs of pests. Be sure to ask tenants to report any sightings.
5. Survey the Exterior Landscaping
Spruce up your curb appeal! Take a look around to see if any tree branches have come down over the winter. If there are leaves leftover from the autumn, they should be raked and bagged. Any shrubs that were wrapped for the winter can now be unwrapped, and gardens and hanging baskets can be planted once the risk of frost is gone. Now’s the time to check all irrigation or sprinkler systems and garden hoses to ensure everything is functioning as it should, and it’s also a good idea to set the schedule for your sprinkler system.
6. Check Walls & Windows
Do a walk-around to check for any cracks in the siding or mortar that may need to be repaired. Check for drafts to stop cool air from escaping and hot air from getting in. Windows should be in good condition, well-sealed with caulking and without any cracks in the glass.
7. Get “Pool Ready”
Pools are a popular amenity during the summertime, so need to be checked regularly for cleanliness and safety. Check pool pumps and vacuums to make sure they are in good working order. Of course, chlorine levels need to be monitored regularly. Taking care of your pool and attending to maintenance issues as soon as they pop up could prevent problems from worsening and save you tons of money on repairs.
8. Secure your Summer Contractors
So that everything continues to run smoothly over the summer months, make sure you’ve signed on the dotted line of your contract with an exterior window washers, air-conditioning/HVAC firm, landscaping company, pool cleaners, painters, or any other necessary vendor.
9. Check Summer Supplies & Equipment
From stocking up on grass seed and fertilizer to replenishing outdoor light bulbs, make sure you have the supplies you need for summer. Do a review of trimmers, lawn tractors and any other summer-related rental property maintenance equipment you have. Review your supplies and get anything that you may need, especially things that will be in higher demand now that the weather is warmer.
10. Do a Security Check
Summertime is easy-breezy living. But it’s also the time when burglaries, graffiti and other crimes happen. Springtime is an opportunity to review your buildings’ security systems, from CCTV to ensuring proper outdoor lighting. Ensure that all motion-detection lighting functions, and that all gates close and lock properly.
The Tools to Do the Job
Spring and summer maintenance (and anytime of the year!) is much more efficient when you have the tools to communicate to tenants, monitor and track repairs, and stay on top of inspections. To streamline and optimize operations, leading property management companies need these key tools:
1. Communication Tools
Whenever there are routine or preventative maintenance initiatives you need to communicate to your two key audiences:
Tenant Communication: Key maintenance times like spring and fall are the perfect time to send a newsletter to your tenants that describes all the things you will be doing for them as well as what they can do to make their spring and summer (and fall and winter) as safe and comfortable as possible. Be sure to include helpful cleaning tips, and reminders of where and when to put any garbage. As well, on a day-to-day basis, a tenant portal makes interactions between the renter and your property firm easier and more efficient, allowing you to quickly answer any tenant repair queries.
Vendor Communication: Your maintenance vendors are an extension of your property management team. To enhance work performance and build a successful, seamless relationship, excellent communication is key. Property management software empowers you to easily track all vendor communications, work orders and repair progress.
To keep tabs on vendor quality, the communication module will also allow tenants to rate the quality of any repairs done to their unit. If you have several incidents on unsatisfactory work/quality, you will need to communicate to and remind the vendor about your standards.
Keeping your properties up to code and in good condition has a two-pronged effect: 1.) it ensures a building where tenants will want to live and 2.) it delivers tangible value to the owners.
Tenant management software allows you to schedule regular and preventative maintenance to ensure that no properties or units go unchecked. For fire, safety and other building inspections, the software allows you to automate monthly, quarterly, bi-annually and annual inspections. You can also capture photos for future comparison as well as digital signatures. For example, our Maintenance and Inspections modules provide an end-to-end solution, from maintenance requests to generating purchase and work orders straight through to mobile inspections.
3. Bonus: Integrated Payments + Accounting
You need to be able to easily create work orders and purchase orders to address any issues right away. With a digital record of all correspondence between tenants, your property organization and maintenance vendors, you can ensure that nothing is forgotten or slips through the cracks.
Good property management software integrates accounting, so you can pay maintenance vendors and reconcile bank accounts in real-time. Because it is designed specifically for the property industry, it helps you keep a finger on the pulse of your business.
How Property Vista Helps
Here at Property Vista we give property managers all the tools to streamline, track and improve their maintenance process. See pricing and arrange a demo here.